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How To Prevent Your Blog from Strangling You

‘Strangulation’ is a threat to all bloggers, especially newish ones.

Scene: My house, this morning. Easter Monday.

Husband: (Brightly…)  ‘There’s an antique fair on!  Fancy going?’

Me: (Forlornly…)  ‘ If only…’

Husband: ‘But you love antique fairs, sweetie!’ (Trying to persuade…)

Me: (Even more forlornly…) ‘I know, but I have to write my post for Kiesha.’

Before I have you all reaching for the tissues, let me tell you, dear readers, that I gave in.

I didn’t allow my blog to strangle me.

We went to the antique fair and now I’m writing this after a morning of bargain hunting.

So… how do you stop your blog strangling you?

1.   Get your priorities right.

Picture the scene -

Friends call round unexpectedly.

They’re clearly set to stay for the whole evening.

What do you do?

a.   Welcome them with a drink and don’t even mention your blog. It’ll have to wait.

b.   After a few minutes, make your excuses, leave your OH to cope, and say you have to go and write a post.

Who’s in charge? You or your blog? Is the sky going to fall in if you don’t sit in front of that screen for the rest of the evening?

2.   Be strong and delete all but the best of your How To sites. (Not this one, obviously…)

Picture the scene -

You open your Inbox.

It’s overflowing with email updates from all those amazingly helpful sites.

You know that as soon as you open even one of them you’ll be following links, making notes (that’s me) and before you know it hours will have passed.

What do you do?

a.  Stop writing, and read as many as you can, because there’s bound to be just the one incredible blogging secret you’re looking for.

b.  Be firm. Delete all but the very best, the most useful, the most user friendly. Focus on the few, to leave as much time as possible for writing posts.

Who’s in charge? You or your blog?

Start deleting.

3.   Set yourself a writing time limit.

The key word here is limit.

When I sat down this afternoon to write this, I decided on a one hour time limit. Less if possible. (I’ll let you know at the end how long this post took.)

It’s a gorgoeus day outside and I want to sort out some gardening stuff.

I decided to write, from the heart, but without a complicated plan. I sketched out my ideas, made a list of points but apart from that I simply got on with it.

What would you do?

a.   Spend ages making a plan, editing and re-editing, searching for the ‘right’ image and then look up to find that the sun has gone in.

b.   Simply write while the ideas are fresh but leave all the twiddly bits till the evening as you don’t want to waste the sunshine.

I know it’s easy for me to say and not so easy for you to do, but hey! It makes sense.

There have been a lot of posts around these last weeks about ‘Blog Strangulation.’

Bloggers have been worried because their ‘hobby, full time interest or money maker, whatever, is strangling their lives in so many ways.

It’s so easy to get carried away, especially at the start, with all the ‘ought’s’ and ‘shoulds’.

I tell myself this -

1.   I love blogging.  I love my readers. But I love the sunshine, antique fairs and my garden more.

2.   Do I really believe that my readers will be filled with horror if a blog post from me doesn’t plop into their Inbox on exactly the right day?

Of course not. After all, variety is the spice of life. And, believe it or not, my readers have other things to do, apart from reading my posts from their overflowing Inboxes.

We all have to devise strategies to  prevent our blogs strangling us.

Let’s see what you do.

In the comments, do share your strategies and help us all to have a life beyond our blogs!

(BTW, this post took me 40 minutes to write but I still have to find the right image for you. I’ll do that later. Right now I’m off to sit in my garden with a glass of chilled white wine… Cheers!)

Image by Adam Foster, on Flickr.